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Unit III – A Modern Nation

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1 Unit III – A Modern Nation
Chapter 9 Section 1 Post War Havoc

2 Postwar Havoc The Main Idea
Although the end of World War I brought peace, it did not ease the minds of many Americans, who found much to fear in postwar years. Reading Focus What were the causes and effects of the first Red Scare? How did labor strife grow during the postwar years? How did the United States limit immigration after World War I?

3 Allied Intervention in Russia 1918-1921.
1917- Bolsheviks led by Lenin, took over Russia from the Tsar and pulled the country out of WWI. Made a peace agreement with Germany. To stop the Germans from moving their troops out to the Western Front, the Allies stepped in to Russia The other purpose for the intervention was to help Russia form a stable government- keeping the Communists from taking over. After the Armistice came in 1918, American troops stayed in Russia to fight against communism. Along with English, French and Japanese troops This helped prolong the Civil War in Russia as the Allies joined the White side. This eventually failed and the Allies pulled out (no clear mission, no rules of engagement, no agreement, lack of understanding of Russian history and people, and too many parties to deal with. However, it would help lead to the Cold War and the Soviet distrust of Western powers.

4 Post WWI Reaction The war actually created new problems- starvation, death, revolution in countries, governments and even factories. Labor Strife- in 1919 over 4 million workers went on strike. Union violence- such as in Boston. The government, businesses, courts and public opinion helped to break up the strikes and the unions. Urban Riots- In crease of racial friction after the War. 70 blacks lynched after the war race riots. Chicago was the worst. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer blamed the riots and rioters of being Communist agitators. Bomb scares- Epidemic of terrorism. Letter bombs being sent to public officials. Lunch time bomb on Wall street killed 38 and wounded 100’s/

5 100 Percent Americanism The end of World War I brought great rejoicing but also many problems. An influenza epidemic from Europe had spread to the U.S., killing more than half a million Americans. Farms and factories that had prospered during war years closed down as demand for products fell. Returning soldiers had trouble finding work. The emotional turmoil had disturbing political effects, as wartime patriotism turned to hatred of Germans. These sentiments gave rise to a movement known as 100 Percent Americanism, which celebrated all things American while attacking all ideas, and people, it viewed as foreign or anti-American.

6 The Roaring Twenties (05:03)

7 The Red Scare Rise of the Bolsheviks
Americans worried about a new enemy. The Bolsheviks, a revolutionary group led by Vladimir I. Lenin, gained control of Russia during World War I. Five years later Russia became part of a new nation called the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks wanted communism, a new social system without economic classes or private property. Lenin believed all people should share equally in society’s wealth. Soviets called for the overthrow of capitalism and predicted communism would inspire workers to rise up and crush it. American Reaction Many Americans were frightened by communism. Americans embraced capitalism and feared a rise of the working class. The picture of “the Hun,” a German symbol, Americans focused hatred on during WWI, was replaced by a new target: communists, known as Reds. Communist parties formed in the U.S. after the war, some advocating violent overthrow of the government. A Red Scare, or widespread fear of communism, gripped the nation.

8 Plots, Laws, and Raids Radical communists might have been behind a failed 1919 plot, in which bombs were mailed to government officials, including U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, a former Progressive. Though the communism threat was probably not very great, the government took it seriously. New York legislatures voted to bar five legally elected socialists from office and passed a law making it a crime to call for government revolution. The Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional in the 1925 case of Gitlow v. New York. Palmer was a key leader in the government’s anti-Communist campaign, attacking radicals in the Palmer raids and justifying them with wartime laws that gave the government broad power against suspected radicals. For aliens, or citizens of other countries living in the U.S., just belonging to certain groups considered radical could lead to deportation, or being sent back to one’s own country. In late 1919 Palmer's forces arrested thousands and deported hundreds. In time, the Red Scare died down, as overseas communism began to fail.

9 A. Mitchell Palmer pursues the Bolsheviks
To Palmer, the Attorney General, the strikes, bombs and riots were the work of revolutionaries He believed the country was infested with Bolsheviks and Anarchists. He began a campaign against them. Deportations to Russia, raids on Communist meetings, jail, illegal arrests. Palmer recruited John Edgar Hoover as his special assistant and together they used the Espionage Act (1917) and the Sedition Act (1918) to launch a campaign against radicals and left-wing organizations. Citizens followed his example and vented their fears on Jews, blacks, Catholics, and all reformers, and mostly on Foreigners.

10 Attorney General Mitchell Palmer and the Prosecution of Communism – 2:01 min.


12 The First Red Scare What were the causes and effects of the first Red Scare? What problems faced the United States after World War I? How did the 100% Americanism combine feelings of both pride and prejudice? Why do you think capitalism is considered fundamental to American life?

13 The First Red Scare How did the government react to the first Red Scare? What caused the Red Scare to die down? Do you think the media acted correctly in reporting the Red Scare?

14 Today -Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security- Anti-Terrorism bill. 180,000 employees and 22 agencies merged. Color coded warning system for terrorist threats. Biological agents- such as anthrax. Airport security. U.S. Patriot act Strengthen powers of law enforcement and collect secret information. Some believe this is a threat to basic freedoms. Axis of Evil- Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

15 Problems for Laborers Postwar Difficulties
During the war, President Wilson sought good relations with workers who were keeping the troops clothed and equipped. Organized labor won many gains, including shorter hours and higher wages, and labor leaders hoping to build on this were frustrated by several factors. Wilson now focused on promoting his postwar peace plan, not labor. The sinking postwar demand for factory goods hurt many industries. Returning soldiers expected jobs that weren’t there. Unhappy workers and strikers were replaced. The Red Scare damaged labor’s reputation, making many suspicious of organized labor. Labor’s Losses The showdown between labor and management in 1919 devastated organized labor. Unions lost members and national political power. It took another decade and another national crisis to restore organized labor’s reputation, status, and bargaining power in the U.S.

16 Major Strikes, But Not Major Victories
The year 1919 was one of the most explosive times in the history of the American labor movement. Some 4 million workers took part in over 3,000 strikes nationwide, and labor lost in nearly every case. A few strikes in 1919 hold a place in labor history. In Seattle, Washington, labor unrest at the shipyards spread across the city, igniting what became the nation’s first general strike, or one in which all industries take part. The conflict shut down the city yet failed. The strike discouraged industry in Seattle for years. In Boston, the police force went on strike to protest low wages and poor working conditions. The city descended into chaos, and Governor Calvin Coolidge called in the militia to end the strike, making him a national hero. The United Mine Workers had a “no strikes” pledge during the war, but a strike in 1919 won a large wage increase but not better hours. The steel industry also struck in 1919.

17 The American Plan Some corporations adopted the “American Plan,” a pledge to maintain a union-free shop. One business owner said, “You can hardly conceive of a more un-American, a more anti-American institution than the closed shop”. Closed Shop- An establishment in which the employer by agreement hires only union members in good standing Some businesses even used union spies to maintain a non-unionized workforce.

18 Labor Strife Grows How did labor strife grow during the postwar years?
What were some of the gains labor made during World War I? Why were labor leaders unable to build on the gains they had made during World War I What was the result of the Seattle general strike of 1919?


20 Limiting Immigration Competition for jobs was fierce, and combined with the Red Scare, a backlash against foreigners struck the nation. The rise of nativism, or distrust of foreigners, produced a culture clash between the country’s earliest immigrants and its newer ones. Many nativists were Protestant Christians whose roots were Northern and Western European, and they targeted newer arrivals from Southern and Eastern Europe. Many of the newer arrivals were Catholics and Jews, and nativists argued that these groups were less willing to become “Americanized.” Labor leaders, along with nativists, pushed for immigration restrictions because new arrivals were usually willing to work for low wages.

21 The Fear of Foreigners Immigration Restriction League- This organization was founded in 1894 by a group of Boston lawyers, professors, and philanthropists who were alarmed by the large number of immigrants entering America each year. Got Congress to pass a law during WWI – every immigrant must be able to read and write- Literacy. The restrictionists believed in superior and inferior races- and this law kept the inferior ones out. Prejudice against Eastern and Southern Europeans. By 1917, Congress had expanded the legal definition of those "likely to become a public charge" to include: "all idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, insane persons…," "persons of constitutional psychopathic inferiority…, and" "mentally or physically defective..," 1921- National immigration quotas introduced.

22 Reactions to Immigration
Government A 1921 law established a quota, or set number, of immigrants to be allowed into the U.S. from various nations. Then, the National Origins Act of 1924 set quotas for each country at 2 percent of the number of people from that country currently living in the U.S., clearly to reduce immigration from certain countries. The act nearly eliminated immigration from Asian countries. The KKK Nativism produced a 1920s revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan’s terror group had originally targeted African Americans in the South but began also to target Jews, Catholics, and radicals. The Klan slogan of the 1920s was “Native white, Protestant supremacy.” The Klan moved from the South into other parts of the country.

23 Sacco and Vanzetti

24 Sacco and Vanzetti In the late 1920s a court case in Massachusetts proved nativist and anti-radical feelings. Two men named Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were arrested for armed robbery and murder. The two men were Italian immigrants and also proclaimed anarchists, or radicals who seek the destruction of government. The evidence against the two men was weak, but it was apparent that the two were on trial for their beliefs as much as for the crimes. Amid great publicity and protests in Europe and South America as well as in the U.S., the two men were convicted and sentenced to death. Their 1927 executions were highly controversial, but by then the nation had largely recovered from the Red Scare and the turmoil of the postwar years.

25 Sacco and Vanzetti It was a bold and outrageous pair of murders. Three o'clock in the afternoon - in broad daylight - two armed men shot and killed a paymaster and his guard. Seven shots in all were fired. The killers picked up the two boxes containing almost $16,000, leaped into a car containing several other men, a car that had pulled up with precise timing, and sped away. The whole audacious enterprise had taken less than a minute. Retrospect, the evidence against them seems slim, and certainly the question of reasonable doubt is raised. Arguments supporting their innocence are indirect, but important. What happened to the $16,000? Who were the other three criminals? How can one explain the variety of bullets taken from the victims that do not match Sacco's gun? Why did the accused show no change in their behavior? Why were the members of the Morelli gang not questioned?

26 Sacco and Vanzetti Two Italian immigrants, who became unwilling martyrs for the struggle of equal justice for all. Arrested for a hold up at a shoe factory in which one person was killed. They had no criminal record but were anarchists. Tried, found guilty and sentenced to die with real hard evidence. Were they victims of fear and prejudice?

27 Limiting Immigration How did the United States limit immigration after World War I? How did immigrants before and after 1900 differ? Why did labor unions join nativists in pushing for restrictions on immigration? Do you think the convictions of Sacco and Vanzetti were justified?

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